Over a decade, Kate Thomas and Angie Gavin have been best friends working for antique dealers and auctioning houses. Their love for all things old started at an early age.
“I think we were both were forced to fall in love with vintage because we grew up with parents who would second hand shop due to a lack of funds for new fresh clothes every season,” Thomas said. I think when you grow up like that you reach a certain age where you either completely disregard that way of styling yourself or you embrace it, and we both decided to embrace it. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with having a beer budget and champagne taste! Vintage allows you to do that to a certain extent and our goal is to price everything reasonable and affordable.”
It isn’t ironic that these best friends often dabbled in selling vintage items on as a side job. Yet, Angie was living in Oregon and Kate was living in Maryland.
“After years of buying & selling independently and moving from city to city, we have settled down and joined forces with Milk & Ice Vintage in our hometown of Baltimore, MD,” Thomas said. We sell vintage clothing & antiques at Avenue Antiques in Hampden, at various fleamarkets and events along the east coast as well as online. We decided to finally combine forces, take the bull by the horns and open an official business together full time.”
Milk and Ice Vintage at Hampden’s Avenue of Antiques is a U shaped showroom on the lower level “right under the stairs”. It is stocked with vintage clothing and antiques handpicked from Thomas as well as Gavin. With over 60 vendors in the Avenue of Antiques, it is sometimes hard to resist purchasing items for their own personal wants.
“We like that we are building a little haven for vintage clothing vendors in the basement,” Thomas said. Vendors have clothing throughout the store, but it seems most are downstairs. Because we both like vintage clothing personally, it’s actually a challenge not to buy items from other vendors at avenue antiques, we’re always tempted by our fellow dealer’s finds.”
The vintage boutique owners share a love for the early and late 70s. Out of all the things these ladies sell, it is hard to keep footwear available in their Milk and Ice Vintage booth.
“We both swear by vintage footwear, and maybe that’s why it’s hard for us to keep it in stock. That and Kate has a seriously dangerous addiction to shoes of any kind,“ Thomas said. Specifically we would swear the best piece of vintage we both own would be leather boots. I have a pair of Frye boots my aunt gave me in high school from the 70’s and they are still kickin’ around to this day. They last forever, are versatile, never go out of style and are so comfortable, the leather just gets better with age. As long as you get them to the cobbler to be resoled before the heels wear down too far, they really do have the ability to outlive all other loved pieces of vintage and the test of time is the highest compliment to any wearable if you ask us.”
Edwardian to Bohemian to clothes that TLC wore back in the 90s can be found in this Hampden vintage haven. Also, things they both personally wear like jean vests, black jeans, moccasins and vintage T-shirts can be found in their boutique.
“Its not about going out and buying any random vintage piece we see, its about spending hours and time and getting your hands dirty to find clothing that everyone will enjoy,” Thomas said.
Milk and Ice Vintage is embracing their motto this year “FREE BIRDS”. The ladies have begun traveling a lot more which is allowing them to expand their inventory to sell more antiques, salvaged home décor and furniture.
“Doing what you like is Freedom, liking what you do is happiness” – Kate Thomas